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Author Topic: TWA: The history of an airline and its people
johndmoore1
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Greetings everyone,

My name is John Moore and I am a former TWA employee, leaving the company in 1993. After leaving, I went into the social services field and became an author & educator.

That said... here is why I am posting.

I am considering authoring a book about the history of TWA, going all the way back to the very start of T&WA. However, before engaging in such a project, I want to find out if such a book alreadys exists. Also, would there be any interest in such a book? Your thoughts would be very helpful. Please send me a note at:
john@johndmoore.net

Best regards,

John D. Moore
http://www.johndmoore.net

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Kenneth
Post Captain
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Welcome!

I think there would certainly be interest in such a book, especially one that covers up to the 'final days' and is written from the perspective of someone within the company.

There are two books that I'm aware of, but both only go up to a certain point:

- TWA: An Airline and its Aircraft (I think that's the right title, I have a copy in my home office) - by REG Davies. This book covers the period from the early days up to the late 90's, but it's more of a picture history and is actually a short book without the pictures. This book is focused on the aircraft TW flew thoughout its history and includes stats such as numbers of each type, specifications of each, tail numbers, etc. I do know that there are a number of statistical errors in the book, I believe others on this board can point them out better than I.

- TWA: Howard Hughes' Airline - I don't recall the author, though the book is currently available in the SkyMall catalogue on-board. If I remember correctly this book doesn't cover the full history and doesn't cover present day, though I haven't looked at it in some time.

Best of luck, if you go through with it you can certainly count on at least one sale!

Ken

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Jeff I.
Post Captain
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I read TWA: The Howard Hughes Airline last year after Captain Kramer graciously gifted a copy to me. It was a very interesting read but did not go into the Icahn years and the aftermath.

I think a new book all covering all the way up until the bitter end could be great ..... although you might want to not finish it off until after the shareholders suit.

Jeff I.

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HAWKMAN
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Jeff I., Please check your PMs. Thanks.

MRS.HAWKMAN

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johndmoore1
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Hi Ken and Jeff,

Indeed, the book would take some time to write. The good news about "time" per se, is that it would allow events to unfold in the "here and now" while I worked on the early/middle years of the airline's history.

On a personal note...

The short time I spent with TWA was magical. It prepared me so much for the work I do now in social services, education and writing. How so? By having exacting standards and by helping me to develop a good work ethic.

You know ... I remember a time, not too long ago, when a jet would roar loudly above and I would think, "I wonder if that is a TWA Jet?" Sadly, whenever I hear that roar in the sky now, it rings hollow. When "Transworld" went away, something very special was taken from us. I don't think I can put that into words ... but I think you get what I am after.

If I undertake this project, it will be written with respect, honoring a great airline and its people.

I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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donuway
Post Captain
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This sounds like it can be an interesting book. If it is good, perhaps the latter part of it can be an "after life" sequel to the movie about Howard Hughes that is supposed to be filmed soon.

Interesting comment about the sound of the planes flying over. Planes fly directly over my house and work on many patterns. I used to get a kick out of picking out the TWA on the tail, and wondering where they were headed to. When Flight 1 was the only 747 left, and the planes were taking off to the east, it was cool to watch that big bird bank back towards the west just east of the city limits about Noon, knowing where it was headed.

Don

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TWA Fan 1
Post Captain
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quote:
Originally posted by johndmoore1:
You know ... I remember a time, not too long ago, when a jet would roar loudly above and I would think, "I wonder if that is a TWA Jet?" Sadly, whenever I hear that roar in the sky now, it rings hollow. When "Transworld" went away, something very special was taken from us. I don't think I can put that into words ... but I think you get what I am after.

John,

I used to do the same. It actually filled me with pride to see those beautiful TWA jets on approach to LGA from my home in Brooklyn.

A comprehensive history of TWA would be a fascinating insight into a unique company whose history was characterized by intense highs and ignominous lows.

Somehow, through thick and thin, the essence of TWA survived, until the "acquisition," that is...

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Irish
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None of you mentioned Legacy of Leadership by the flight ops department and Dan McGrogan, "a pictoral history of TWA".
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Jeff I.
Post Captain
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I, too, am a plane watcher. I used to be in an office facing east from lower Manhattan. On clear days I could see JFK and, if the approach was the Canarsie VOR, I could sometimes spot TWA jets coming into JFK.

More regularly, I could see LGA and often would spot TWA 757's and MD80's taking off or landing at LGA.

Ironically, about the time of the heist (ahem ... asset purchase), I moved offices to one with a western view. I can see EWR in a distance but never really spotted any TWA jets. Then .... about 6 months later, my view became somewhat distracted by a little commotion two blocks west called Ground Zero (I see the southern slice of GZ with the panoramic view being obstructed by a building in-between ours and GZ).

After 9/11, watching jets from a skyscraper in lower Manhattan took on a whole different meaning ......

Jeff I.

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Goodyear_26
Post Captain
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As Irish ponted out, no one had mentioned "Legacy of Leadership" which thoroughly covers the period 1926-1970. It is a pictorial treasure with a Foreword by Captain Frankum. The book itself is printed on heavy paper, and has an attractive cover in red with Gold inscriptions.

I consider that a classic, but I'm also proud of an autographed copy of Robert Serling's "Howard Hughes' Airline" which charts the formation and growth of TWA up to 1983.

So it appears there is only a small span left to write about and offer something new. Of course that is the time we would all rather not dwell on, but nevertheless should be chronicled to complete the story.

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transwair
Post Captain
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The Hughes book is by Bob Serling...the brother of Rod Serling of Twilite Zone fame.
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johndmoore1
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Hello all,

Just wanted to let all of you know that my email box has never been so full! I must have received over 15 emails in the last day from former TWAers from around the world. All of these electronic notes caused a flood of memories to come back ... wonderful memories of shared experiences and good times. Funny how "strangers" can instantly transform two people into friends once it is revealed that, "I too worked for TWA." Amazing, eah?

I am currently working on a second book, which is the follow up to my first book, Consfusing Love with Obsession. Once I get that out of the way, I will begin the TWA project.

By the way, if you have not visited http://www.airliners.net, try to do so. They have a wonderful collection of photos from all of the airlines, including the "best of the best" ... TWA .

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Conch Flyer
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Hey John, My father and I were both TWA Pilots. My career however was cut very short with the furlough. Anyway, my dad and I have a huge collection of pictures, letters, books, pretty much anything you can think of when it comes to TWA history. We would be happy and proud to help out with any materials or info you may need. Please reply if you would like me to follow through. All of us former TWA'ers would love to see another book published about the best airline ever. Good luck, CW.
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johndmoore1
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Thanks for your offer. I am collecting all of these offers and creating a contact list so that when I begin the project, I will be ready to gather information.

I can only imagine how tuff it was (and is) to be going through a job loss ... in hindsight, I wish the whole AA deal would never have happened and that something else could have been worked out.

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Jeff I.
Post Captain
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quote:
Originally posted by johndmoore1:
I can only imagine how tuff it was (and is) to be going through a job loss ... in hindsight, I wish the whole AA deal would never have happened and that something else could have been worked out.

John -

In contrast to late January 2001, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find TWA'ers who think the AA deal was the best that TWA could have come up with. If there had to be a "final" chapter to the TWA story, this sure as hell shouldn't have been it. The TWA employees and the airline's history deserved far better than to be dismantled, disregarded and essentially spat upon by the duplicitous, two-bit crowd running the show at DFW.

And .... notwithstanding my loathing of Icahn and acknowledging his culpability in ruining the airline, I also hold in very low esteem the succession of TWA high-level management (with a few exceptions) that allowed things to reach the point where they felt they had to grovel to AA for some way out.

Jeff I.

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johndmoore1
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Hi Jeff,

I feel the same way you do. I don't want to play the "what if game" but, I cannot help but thinking how things might have been different had TWA merged with America West? What might have happened had TWA hung on until after 9/11 and then tried to get money from the airline stabalization board? All "what might have been" questions ... but they certainly are there.

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TWA Fan 1
Post Captain
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff I.:
...the TWA employees and the airline's history deserved far better than to be dismantled, disregarded and essentially spat upon by the duplicitous, two-bit crowd running the show at DFW.

And .... notwithstanding my loathing of Icahn and acknowledging his culpability in ruining the airline, I also hold in very low esteem the succession of TWA high-level management (with a few exceptions) that allowed things to reach the point where they felt they had to grovel to AA for some way out.

Jeff I.

Very well put indeed. Notwithstanding minor disagreements we may have about the exact reasons for TWA's demise and the impact of Carl Icahn's thievery, I could not agree more with your view above.
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